I’m Glad We Got to the Park When We Did

Mrs. Wigglebottom is unwelcome at the off-leash dog parks in town.  So, I’m glad we went when we did.

Brittney’s got the skinny on it over at Nashville is Talking

It makes me so mad, I can’t even tell you.  Not that I want to take Mrs. Wigglebottom to the park.  As I said

I wish I felt better about having her around other dogs–I’m just so afraid that if anything goes wrong, she’ll automatically be the guilty party, just by virtue of how she looks that I’m afraid to be there when other people are there–because I think she’d really like it.

But Mrs. Wigglebottom is a good dog.  She’s a doofus, but she’s a good dog.  People in my neighborhood let their dogs wander all over unleashed and no one does jack shit about it, but my dog can’t even go to the fucking park because she looks like a monster?

I’m just glad she can’t read.  Shit like this would hurt her feelings.

Also, the picture Brittney has?  Mrs. Wigglebottom looks so little like that it makes me even angrier.  That dog and my dog look like two entirely different breeds (which they are, I suppose) and my dog has to suffer because folks are afraid of that dog?  What kind “breed” ban is that?

29 thoughts on “I’m Glad We Got to the Park When We Did

  1. Sorry to hear about this, that really sucks. Nanny-staters strike again. I guess ignorant human Fear & Loathing isn’t limited to our own species.My sister has a pit bull and it’s one of the sweetest animals I’ve ever known. Hell my old cat used to scare the shit out of him.

  2. Boy Scout, don’t use your fancy French words on me, trying to distract me with some foreign tongue.

  3. It’s the difference between saying, "This is not?" and "Is not?".My french is a little rusty, but I think either would be acceptable.I’ll have to be more rigorous when I use my foreign tongue on Aunt B., if I’m going to be critiqued for my performance.

  4. Oh, Wayward Boy Scout! You totally *did* distract me from my point, which was two-fold: 1. what kind of libertarian are you? "Well, those are the rules. You knew you’d have these problems when you got the dog." and 2. You break the rules with your dog all the time. Don’t make me go count the "Leash laws apply to everyone but me" posts you make.So, it’s fine for you to break the law, but not for me to criticize an unjust rule?I see. Or, as we say in Russian–Ya veezhoo.We also say in Russian–Potselee tolka zheenu. But that’s neither here nor there.

  5. Put together those dogs for a lineup and I’ll happily volunteer my two rottie and dobie mixes. They’re so fucking vicious they’re sleeping in a ball with the cat. Stupid canine predjudices.

  6. Mrs. Wigglebottom is welcome to play with my (not-yet-banned) Rottweiler any time and any where. He’s just turned 9 in March and has been bitten by, in order, a Shih-Tsu (8 lbs.), a Cairn Terrier (11 lbs.), and a mixed-breed rat-dog (under 10 lbs.).He has never, ever bitten anything or anyone, in spite of being provoked on and off leash. He’s a purebred Rott, AKC papers, 115 lbs., non-neutered (take that!) He’s recently been exposed to a purebred English Bulldog puppy who, as could be expected, jumped all over him and nipped at him every way she could. His worst reaction was to drop his head/neck and fling her a few feet, then return to chasing/being chased by her. He’s been around full-grown Dobermans and Huskies and had no problems either, aside from not being able to catch them since he’s not as mobile or agile as they were.It’s not the breed if the dog is not raised to work the way it is bred – it’s crappy humans who don’t socialize/train the dog. I feel and share your outrage, Aunt B.

  7. But responsible pit bulls owners know you NEVER bring a pit bull to a dog park – so what you are telling us is that you, the owner of a potentially dangerous dog, don’t have the first clue about it. Yeah, I feel safe. And by the way, nice language.http://www.pbrc.net/dogpark.html

  8. Too bad you couldn’t take the fifteen seconds to read the post about our trip to the dog park, which was, at the time, utterly empty. All those imaginary dogs were in grave danger, I’m sure. As was the imaginary you. Whoo! My monster dog, just tearing to bits all those imaginary dogs at the empty dog park. So scary.But I know, reading and having informed opinions makes it so hard to be all righteously indignant and patronizing.As for the language, it’s English. It’s got its roots in the old germanic languages, but borrows heavily from Latin and has the ability to soak up interesting words from whatever culture it encounters. Glad you like it. It serves me well.

  9. I read your post. Clearly you had no idea you are not supposed to take pit bulls to dog parks. No one was there…hmmm, you were there. Could other people have showed up at any minute? Let’s face it, the only reason you find me righteously indignant and patronizing is because I am saying what you don’t want to hear. Now please, educate yourself on the dog you choose to have, and encourage other pit bull owners to do the same, so these bans don’t keep continuing.

  10. You know, as much fun as it would be to spend all afternoon justifying myself to a total stranger, I can’t quite recall who died and left you the arbitor of proper conduct for dog owners. So, I can’t really imagine why you think it’s any of your business where I take my dog and what we do while we’re there.I don’t take my dog to the dog park when other dogs are there because I know dogs that look vaguely like her make people nervous and it’s not worth the hassle for me.Unlike you, apparently, I don’t live in a land full of people with superhuman speed, so when we were at the dog park, when someone else arrived, we had plenty of time to get hooked back up and out of the fenced in area before the other dog was even out of its vehicle.But, should I ever move near Justice League Headquarters, I will keep in mind that dog owners with super powers might materialize around me seemingly out of thin air.

  11. You really are something else. I’ll explain why this is my business. First of all, I have dogs, and I don’t want them hurt or killed by pit bulls because the pit bull owner was too lazy to figure out how to take care of their own pet. Second, when you don’t act responsibly, and then pull a sarcastic attitude to boot, you are not only making things worse for yourself and your dog, but all other pit bull owners as well. There are some really wonderful, responsible pit bull owners out there who don’t need you making things worse for them. But I’m sure you don’t care any more about them than you care about me, and that’s a shame because most pit bull owners I meet act exactly like you – better than everyone else. And all that turns into is more pit bull bans. It would be a shame to lose the breed entirely simply because the owners couldn’t come to grips with the fact that the world does not revolve around them and their dog, that we share this planet, and that when they chose to get a potentially dangerous dog, they chose the responsibilities that came along with it. It all comes down to my initial comment, that you don’t know how to take care of your own dog. And you have never disputed that. Oh, and just so you know, not all dog parks are exactly like yours. Just because something is unthinkable in your little corner of the world does not make it an absolute. But hey, if you think focusing on that is going to make me forget that you don’t know that pit bulls are not supposed to be in dog parks, well knock yourself out.

  12. Ms. Education, you have got to be the weirdest commentor I’ve ever had, and that’s really saying something. You show up here, accuse me of being an irresponsible dog owner who doesn’t know anything about the breed of dog I have based on the fact that I took my dog to the park when no one else was there–as if that actually isn’t the height of responsible "scary" dog ownership.Then you proceed to condescend all over my blog, as if you are the pit bull police, and you somehow think that your ability to find a website and link to it on another website obliges me to follow the rules laid down by that website.Why is that? Because, if I don’t, I’m somehow responsible for pitbulls being banned out of existance?Let me make it clear to you. The people responsible for pitbulls being banned out of existance are the fuckers who support the dog fighting industry, either by fighting dogs or breeding dogs they must know will end up in the pit or doing any other number of asshole things to and with those dogs so that they can feel like tough guys, that, at the end of the day, are abusive to those dogs.People like that don’t give two shits about their dogs. They’re not taking them to the dog park in the first place. They aren’t training them or ever making sure they’re properly restrained.People like that don’t give two shits if you are afraid of them and their dogs, except possibly to hope that you are.And people like that are not sitting around going "Golly, if only I knew how to do right by my dog, I would. I wonder if Aunt B., the queen of all things pitbull, has some wisdom for me when it comes to those dogs. I better read her and follow everything she says."Those people who are abusing their dogs until they become killers are responsible for the breed bans.So, don’t be putting it on me. You want to fight? Fight with them. Go troll their websites talking about "pitbulls shouldn’t go to the dog parks." I’m sure they’d love to hear it.But make no mistake, even if every pitbull in America disappeared tomorrow, they’d still be fighting dogs and making monsters out of decent housepets. But no worries. I’m sure your lecture will serve you well when you chastize the mastiff owners or the chow owners or whoever finds themselves with the next "nightmare" dog that must be kept out of dog parks.

  13. Boy are you wrong. Pit bulls are being banned because they are routinely attacking and sometimes killing children and other pets. Most of these pit bulls are pets, and most of these incidents are "accidents" which could easily be prevented if the owners knew or cared to take proper care of their pets that they chose to get. As you are a pit bull owner, other pit bull owners are far more likely to listen to you. This is why it is so important that pit bull owners get together and educate each other, help each other to become better owners, and to ensure their dogs don’t become a statistic. When Doberman owners saw their breed going downhill and being used for the wrong reasons, they got together and fixed their own breed’s problems. So don’t say it can’t be done, or that you are not responsible. Deflecting blame is easy, actually pulling yourself away from your blog and doing something is hard. Just how hard are you willing to work for your dog?

  14. Ms. Education, I’m just saying up front that I can really go on like this forever, because I think you’re wrong and it’s my blog. You’re welcome to continue to try to have the last word, but it seems highly unlikely that I’m going to let that happen. Also, in fighting me, you’re not going to win any great victory because now, I’m just fighting with you because you’re a condescending ass, not because I see any possibility of you changing my mind.If you’d come in here and presented yourself like a human being who is open to learning from others, you’d have been met with respect and your ideas would have been listened to.But instead you come in here with a big chip on your shoulder and a hostile attitude and that’s what you’re met with. Hostility and mockery.Anyway, now that you’ve moved away from your one primary source and are just going purely on gut prejudices and shit you make up about me, it’s really even funnier to me.So, I invite you to check out the infamous New Yorker article (http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060206fa_fact) in which Malcolm Gladwell explains under what circumstances vicious dogs attack:"In many cases, vicious dogs are hungry or in need of medical attention. Often, the dogs had a history of aggressive incidents, and, overwhelmingly, dog-bite victims were children (particularly small boys) who were physically vulnerable to attack and may also have unwittingly done things to provoke the dog, like teasing it, or bothering it while it was eating. The strongest connection of all, though, is between the trait of dog viciousness and certain kinds of dog owners. In about a quarter of fatal dog-bite cases, the dog owners were previously involved in illegal fighting. The dogs that bite people are, in many cases, socially isolated because their owners are socially isolated, and they are vicious because they have owners who want a vicious dog."In order to do my part as a responsible dog owner I fixed my dog. I only take her outside on a leash. I don’t beat her or tie her up outside and leave her sit. I don’t fight her or train her to be mean in order to prove how bad ass I am. I keep her well-fed and I pay a lot of attention to her. I make sure that she is a happy dog.That’s all I owe the world. Sorry that you think I owe you more, but I’m not Christian. I don’t have a story to take to the nations. You believe in some model of missionary work in all facets of your life, good for you. Don’t put that on me.I notice you haven’t inflicted your worldview on Say Uncle (http://www.saysuncle.com/archives/2006/04/05/help_the_stupid_is_finally_in_the_state). Why’s that?

  15. Yes, it is your blog, and I’m not here to fight with you. I understand as it is your blog you can’t let me have the last word and so on. I get that you are childish like that, the language was a tip off among other things – let me guess, you’re one of those "progressive liberals", right? Anyway, I was hoping you were one of those people open to others and to different views (you know, liberal minded), and even to well-known information about your own pet that apparently you don’t know about. Such a shame. I only hope that perhaps in private you will consider what I have said and the sense it makes. But have a good weekend, and I wish your dog the best.

  16. Please. You came in here accusing me of being a bad dog owner. I was supposed to kiss your ass and cry "Oh, no, not me, Ms. Education! I do follow all the rules. Please don’t hate me."? Fuck that.I’m truly sorry that your mode of self-presentation is so pompous jack-ass-y that you can’t even have a civilized conversation with people who are, if you would stop being so self-righteous, on your side. That must make for a very frustrating existence for you, to instantly alienate people who otherwise would be inclined to agree with you.But don’t lie, now, at the end of all this. Don’t say that you weren’t fixing for a fight the second you showed up here. If you weren’t fixing for a fight, why didn’t you start your comments from the very beginning in a way that fostered conversation?Because, dear lord, if you think that calling a total stranger an irresponsible dog owner and then tut-tutting her for her language isn’t designed to put people on the defensive and thus provoke a fight, you have been sadly led astray by the people who taught you how to interact with others.On the other hand, if, at the end of all this, you have the balls to admit that you started out on the wrong foot and stuck with it because you couldn’t see how to gracefully admit that you’d construed yourself to be a humongous busy body and so just had to roll with it–which I suspect is the real truth, or you wouldn’t keep coming back here trying to figure out how to shift the conversation around so that you look like you’re in the right–, I’d be happy to have you stick around.I’m not opposed to having folks who are willing to fight with me comment here, as anyone can attest. But I will not be condescened to without calling you on it.

  17. Okay I’ll admit it. I’m straight and to the point. And I thought you to be a person who would appreciate it, not one to be so easily offended. Or a hypocrite. Guess I was wrong. Why on Earth would I want to continue talking to someone who was such a potty-mouth, as if that impresses me, or someone who does not care to discuss the topic at hand but instead keeps talking about me and what a horrible way I come across "so that you look like you’re in the right". Didn’t know I was so interesting. This must have been the highlight of your year. And the funniest thing is you actually think I would want to stick around…like I said, have a good weekend.

  18. Ms. Education, the fact that you’re back proves that you want to keep hanging around. I was trying to give you a gracious way to do so. If you don’t want to take it, that’s your business.

  19. Ban the Deed, not the Breed!As a professional dog trainer I feel obligated to respond to the latest news announcing a Pit Bull and “Pit Bull-type” dog ban from the leash-free areas of metros dog parks. The average person’s knowledge of the breed is usually biased, based on urban myths aimed at damaging the breed’s reputation. Contrary to what is portrayed in the media, we are not being overrun with vicious Pit Bulls. Since the 1980’s. Pit Bulls have been responsible for about three human fatalities a year in the United States. We live in a society were 2000 parents kill their children each year through domestic violence, and drunk drivers kill another 25000 people. We have to ask ourselves if the Pit Bull issue is truly a safety issue or just hype. Of course, all pit bulls are not dangerous. Most don’t bite anyone. Meanwhile, Dobermans and Great Danes and German shepherds and Rottweilers are frequent biters as well, and the dog that recently mauled a Frenchwoman so badly that she was given the world’s first face transplant was, of all things, a Labrador retriever.At one time in our history the Pit Bull was the most popular and respected dog in America, but it has since received a black eye. Originally bred as a bull-and-terrier fighting dog in Great Britain in the 1830’s, the breed found a new lease on life in the U.S. as a working dog. As settlers moved westward in the late 19th Century, English immigrants who had brought their dogs over with them, found them to be exceptional in herding cattle and sheep, protecting livestock, and guarding the family home. It was not long before the breed, called the “Yankee Terrier”, became the dog of choice for a young and expanding Nation. The breed’s hard work ethic, combined with its solid reputation as a family dog, made them much revered and in demand. Its special devotion and love for children earned it the nickname “the nanny dog”. In 1898 the United Kennel Club was founded and the bull-and-terrier became its first registered breed under the name of the American Pit Bull Terrier. In 1914 The American military began prepping the nation for the possibility of war by printing patriotic posters that were in part meant to rally the nation. The various posters featured the image of an American Pit Bull Terrier draped in the American flag with words such as “Watchful-Waiting” and “The American Watch-Dog”. The military chose the Pit Bull as a representative of the country not only because the dog was the most respected of all the breeds, but because the feisty canine symbolized everything the country stood for: bravery, loyalty, patience, and a willingness to defend itself if provoked. The military’s choice of selecting the Pit Bull proved to be ultimately prophetic, as a dog of the breed named Stubby, was to become a hero of the war. After having served in seventeen battles in WW I, Stubby returned home to the U.S. in April of 1919 to a hero’s welcome. The French government in recognition of Stubby’s service presented him with four medals for bravery, including the Republic of France Grande War Medal. The United States Military also presented Stubby with several medals, the most prestigious being the Purple Heart, for being injured in combat while serving his country. Shortly after the end of the war a group of rambunctious kids, along with their four legged friend Petey, captivated the nation in a series of short films called Our Gang and later titled The Little Rascals. Petey the pup was to go down in history as the most famous Pit Bull of its breed. Petey’s popularity, then and now, has made him easily one of the most recognizable dogs to date. He is able to take his place in the celebrity dog world next to the likes of Lassie; however, unlike Lassie, who bit her trainer several times, Petey the Pit Bull displayed nothing but a loving nature while working on a movie set involving many children. It was during this time the breed became known as the “All-American Dog” and became the choice pet. America had fallen in love with the Pit Bull and the breed became the darling of the nation. The Pit Bull represented everything that was good and desirable in “man’s best friend”. The breed became the icon of the nation and the essence of everything that was Americana.For the next forty years the image of the Pit Bull was to remain untarnished. Owners of the breed have included: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Thomas Edison, President Theodore Roosevelt, President Woodrow Wilson, Helen Keller, General George Patton, Fred Astaire, John Steinbeck, and Humphrey Bogart. Beginning in the 1980’s, the one hundred plus years of respectability for the Pit Bull began to come to an end. Just as the Rottweiler and Doberman had once been a negative status symbol, the Pit Bull became the macho dog for every criminal, gang member, and rebel who needed to bolster his self perceived bad image. As a result, the breed became once again in great demand, but this time negative connotations were attached. So began the fall from grace of perhaps the most beloved and respected breed in the history of our nation. To add to the problem, the media has jumped on the issue and projected the breed in the worst possible light. Unscrupulous and biased reporting has unfortunately driven various media outlets to unjustly portray the Pit Bull as a monster ready to devour anything in its path. As a dog trainer that handles many breeds including Pit Bulls, I face the realization that society wants to put a bandage on the vicious dog issue by severely restricting or banning various breeds. We must come to our senses and realize that it is the irresponsible owner who is truly at fault. It has been proven by numerous studies that the Pit Bull is no more inheritably aggressive then any other breed. In August 2002, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld a decision that pit bulls were no more inherently dangerous than any other breed in WAF/Sheila Tack v. Huntsville Alabama. In 2000, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), joined together to investigate whether or not breed specific legislation (banning individual breeds, such as pit bulls) is effective. Dr. Julie Gilchrist of the CDC Injury Center in Atlanta concluded that, “We learned breed specific legislation is not the way to tackle the issue of dog bites. Instead, we should look at the people with the dogs responsible for the bites.” Organizations against breed specific regulations include: American Veterinary Medical Association, The American Kennel Club, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Animal Control Association, and the Humane Society of the United States. According to a recent aggression test of 122 dog breeds by the American Temperament Testing Society, Pit Bulls achieved an above average passing rate of 83.9 percent based on their temperament. Golden Retrievers received an 83.2 percent score, Beagles 78.2 percent, and Standard Schnauzers scored only 63.5 percent.In closing I would like to add that I never cared much for off-leash areas in dog parks, because very few dog owners are in control of their own dogs, regardless of their breed, there will always be a potential for dogfights. However to ban a dog based on its breed is to generalize, stereotype and a form of racial profiling. To state that a Specific Breed is more loving, more predictable, more dangerous or more compassionate than that of other Breeds – is Wrong. Dogs are only as good as Their Owners. Million of people across the U.S. have Pit Bull Terriers who they consider part of their families. They love the Pit Bull for the same reason that the late 19th Century immigrants loved the bull-and-terrier: loyalty to its owner, bravery under fire, gentleness with children, and a clown-like personality that makes us laugh. The Pit Bull hasn’t changed, society has changed with an over abundance of irresponsible owners. Let’s give man’s best friend the due he deserves, and do the right thing, by punishing irresponsible owners.Ban the Deed, not the Breed.

  20. hello i m 14 years old and since i was i born the only kind of dog i have ever owned has been a pit bull! my parents used to breed them we had 24 pit bulls and to me they are the best dogs in the world !!! And just like a pit bull it makes me very mad when people say bad shit about them

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